Blaine, Minnesota – The Springfield Jr. Blues finished off the 2018 NAHL Showcase Saturday afternoon against the Johnstown Tomahawks losing 3-1. The Jr. Blues only goal was scored by Spencer DenBeste (Marquette, MI) and they finished the Showcase with a 2-2-0-0 record.
Johnstown opened the scoring five minutes into the 1st period when Chad Merell scored on a odd man advantage beating George McBey (Dallas, TX) for his fifth goal of the season. The 1st period tally would be the only offense for either team until :37 into the third period when Mitchell Hale scored his third goal of the season for the Tomahawks and the score was 2-0. Chad Merell scored a shorthanded breakaway goal just after the halfway mark of the period to increase their lead to 3-0.
The Springfield Jr. Blues would get on the board with 5:39 left in the game when Spencer DenBeste broke up Carter MacPhail’s shutout on the power play. Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) and Nikita Kozyrev (Tallinn, Estonia) assisted on the goal. The goal was the second in as many days for the Lake Superior State University commit, however, the Jr. Blues were unable to complete the comeback and Johnstown held on for the victory.
George McBey played well in net for the boys in blue, stopping 33 of 36 shots sent his way. Special teams proved to be an important factor in the game, as the Jr. Blues penalty kill was perfect going 9-for-9. The power play generated the only offense, but also surrendered an important shorthanded goal in the 3rd period that proved to be too much for the Jr. blues to overcome.
The Jr. Blues will be back in town next Friday against the Kenai River Brown Bears as they kick off their home schedule at 7:05 p.m. The Brown Bears are currently 3-2-0-0 and are tied for 1st in the tightly contested Midwest Division.
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